Why Gucci always has a pair of sunglasses in its closet

What do the House of Gucci and Time magazine have in common? Apart from the former being the fashion brand known for its sharply tailored, often controversial designs, and the latter being renowned for its glossy covers, they both serve as a design house for the movies and television respectively.

Most famously, Gucci provided the iconic clutches and bold pieces worn by Carol Channing in the film Gypsy (which the studio itself co-produced), and for decades, the famous staple has been a movie-maker’s go-to accessory. Just as each character has a favourite piece from one particular garment — say a raincoat or kimono jacket in a comedy or an embroidered dress in a drama — each character has a pair of Gucci sunglasses.

But instead of being a delightfully kitsch accessory, this year, Gucci has had to answer to a far more important role: designer and owner of Italian flag carrier Alitalia. The chain filed for insolvency in 2018 amid the European airline industry’s slump and will now be taken over by Italian investment firm CDP, a rival to the one in charge of buying Gucci. “We have an obligation to save Alitalia,” Gucci’s Italian CEO Alessandro Michele said at the WWD CEO Summit on Tuesday. “It is too important to be lost to the banking sector.”

Gucci knows that preserving the “proprietary shirt-pocket perfume” of fashion, and an iconic brand’s heritage is vital for the survival of an investment, but for some, what’s good for fashion is often a turn-off. The Gucci ambassador and model Kendall Jenner just couldn’t bring herself to be seen wearing any of the iconic scarves the brand produces, while Justin Bieber famously brought up his two-finger salute during an event at the House of Gucci in Milan in 2011 — that gaffe went viral.

Because of its financial troubles, Gucci will be offering a much reduced discount of up to 20 per cent on its all-white Gucci x Gucci animal bag, a favourite of Elizabeth Taylor. But no deals can compare to a romance between Gucci and the Olsen twins: the designers designed and worked with Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen’s label The Row for a season in 2017.

These are some of the finest accessories that Alessandro Michele and the House of Gucci have to offer, why not make some of your own?

Editor’s Note: Links to financial news stories are supported by TCS.

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